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Essential Skills

Essential Skills in Adult Learning

Essential Skills are needed for work, learning, and life.  Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has identified nine essential skills as the foundation for continued learning and developing new skills:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Document Use
  4. Numeracy
  5. Computer Use
  6. Thinking
  7. Oral Communication
  8. Working with Others
  9. Continuous Learning

In this video, Dr. Sarah Eaton explains the above skills and what each means:

Our goal is to help you develop these skills throughout your time of study with the Adult Learning Centre.  You will continue developing these skills in future studies, the workplace, and in the tasks you complete each day in your everyday life!


Activity 14 A: Essential Skills

  1. Read “What are Essential Skills” to find definitions, typical applications and workplace and community examples in jobs.
  2. Pick THREE of the essential skills.
  3. Write a blog post about how you currently use these three skills in the Adult Learning Centre, at home or at work.
  4. In the same blog post, identify which of these three skills you would most like to improve and how your life would benefit if you had mastered that skill.

Activity 14 B: Essential Skills – Workplace

At the HRDC Essential Skills website, you can Explore Careers by Essential Skills. You can find an occupation alphabetically and see which skills are required to perform that job.

  1. Click here to visit: Explore Careers by Essential Skills
  2. Click on ‘F’ to find “firefighter.”
  3. Read the description of the role of a firefighter and the essential skills required to do this job. Click on any of the essential skills icons to get more details on the level of skill needed and some examples of how these are used daily in the job.
  4. Now click here to go back to the Explore Careers by Essential Skills and find THREE jobs you may be interested in learning more about.
  5. Write a new blog post with three paragraphs. One paragraph for each job description you are interested in. In each paragraph, write about your understanding of, or experience with, the skills required to complete the job you are researching.
  6. Send an email to [email protected] when you have completed activity 14A and 14B

Continue to the Next Lesson

Or, click here to return to the main menu for Twenty-First Century Learning.

This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario and through the Canada-Ontario Job Fund Agreement.

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